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ACC commissioners to vote on $500K for youth, anti-gang programs

Athens-Clarke County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal which would hand out $500,000 in federal money to six local non-profits for youth development and violence prevention programs this summer.

The half million dollars comes from American Rescue Plan funding, and would go to a half-dozen local groups, including the East Athens Development Corporation, Divas Who Win, and the Athens Land Trust.

Commissioners agreed to place the item on their consent agenda, where non-controversial legislation normally goes. But at a meeting last month, District 9’s Ovita Thornton expressed her hope that the programs the money supports will address a growing gang problem in the county.

"That is our problem now, is drugs and gangs," Thornton said. "And we have to deter kids away from both. I think we're sometimes scared about using that word, and it's happening every day - in my community it's happening every day."

Tomorrow’s commission meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall and will be streamed live on the county’s YouTube channel.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.